Sans titre, 2006

Faced with Untitled (2006), large format square artworks by Laurent Pariente, the first question to arise is that of genre. Thin metal plates of aluminum, copper or brass coated with lacquered colour, are worked on with dry point, a method of intaglio etching. The dense intertwining of delicate lines following the circular movement of the hand produces a regular “all-over” immersive effect. At first glance, these works seem to reconcile painting and the graphic arts. But, at the same time, the structured surface and its way of reflecting the light in the etched lines provoke in the viewer a truly tactile moving gaze, like when one “touches” a sculpture with one’s eyes. Pariente emphasizes the importance of these engraved plates which opened up a luminous space for him and thus inaugurated his “relation to the wall”. The wall which, for the artist, “is also the opening of a new space” and a defining experience for his other work. 

Sans titre, 2006

Laurent Pariente
Sans titre, 2006
Pointe sèche sur aluminium et cuivre, vernis
226 x 226 cm et 184 x 184 cm
Collection Mudam Luxembourg
Donation 2013 – L’artiste
Vue de l’exposition Solides Fragiles, Mudam Luxembourg
04.10.2014 – 08.02.2015
© Photo : Rémi Villaggi

The colour prints are indeed directly related to his labyrinthine installations, like the one produced in 2008 for Mudam’s Grand Hall, through which the visitor made his way, immersed in the heart of a multitude of colourful translucent surfaces. Whether it is the furrows of his engravings on metal or the volumes of his white or coloured interior architecture striking a regular pace, Pariente’s artworks create an environment with no beginning or end. The gaze is forced to wander, no opportunity being presented for it to halt or even linger, leading to the destabilization and questioning of spatial and pictorial perception. 

Sans titre, Mudam, Luxembourg

Laurent Pariente’s (1962) installation occupying the Grand Hall of Mudam is a logical continuation of his work to date. Nevertheless, this is the first time the artist has introduced the dimension of colour to one of his works in such a decisive manner. In previous works, light was captured on large-scale drypoint engravings on tinted metal plates, while his constructions and passages were realised in opaque chalk powder.

In the luminous hall designed by Ieoh Ming Pei, the labyrinth character of the work combines with the intense presence of pallid colours. Approximately 150 timber frames measuring 4m in height, each varying in width and colour, appear to be mounted ad infinitum, forming mazes in the space that they divide up and give rhythm to, by creating sequences of colour levels generated by the transparent sheets stretched across the frames. It is impossible to grasp the installation in its entirety in just one view, even when jutting over it from the balcony above. It is only by wandering through it that observers can take it in, little by little... While being led along the path, they are constantly confronted with visual impressions undergoing incessant renew- al, challenging their senses, in the midst of this sensitive and colour- enveloped space. Laurent Pariente’s work challenges several artistic issues: painting, colour and light, but also the question of space. Subjects that lead observers on a self-guided path of discovery and to an awareness of the act of perceiving.

Laurent Pariente
Sans titre, Mudam, Luxembourg, 2008

Wood, PVC, coloured varnish,
Floor aera: 200m2
Height: 4m

Commission and Collection Mudam Luxembourg

Acquisition 2007
© Photos: André Morin

03/07 2008 – 15/09/2008